When floods strike or droughts persist, women are among the first to feel the impacts on their livelihoods and daily lives. (UN Women, COP17)

As the COP17 negotiations are undergoing in Durban, reaching its last day tomorrow, I thought it would be good to send a reminder of the importance of discussing climate change with a gender aspect. Women are demanding inclusion, reports show that women and children are more vulnerable when hit by a natural disaster. Women are at a greater risk of disease and violence, they have a heavy burden to secure the household livelihood, and are usually counted higher among deaths (UN Women).

Those who work on climate change and those who work on reproductive health and rights have much in common and much to learn from each other. To paraphrase Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai of Kenya, there is unlikely to be climate equity without gender equity. And as the world’s Governments noted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), there is unlikely to be gender equity until all women, men and young people have access to a full range of reproductive health services, from voluntary family planning to safe motherhood and the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (UNFPA, State of the World Population 2009).

Current links on gender and climate change:

http://www.cop17-cmp7durban.com/

http://unfccc.int/2860.php

http://www.unwomen.org/focus-areas/climate-change-and-the-environment/

http://www.genderlinks.org.za/article/women-demand-inclusion-in-efforts-to-save-forests-2011-12-07

http://www.mrfcj.org/

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